Less popular than their Cartesian brothers, the darlings of the hobbyists 3D printing world, delta 3D printers are prized among makers for their print speeds (multiple orders of magnitude faster than Cartesian printers), precision, and ability to handle unusually tall models, figurines, and parts confidently.
To achieve this, a fixed, stationary circular bed sits below a lightweight extruder mounted on three arms forming a triangle, which is where the delta name originates, referring to the letter from the Greek alphabet of the same name.
The three arms, powered by individual stepper motors, slide up and down independently of one another on the rails to position the extruder depending on the demands of the printed object. The tri-arm setup positions the extruder where it needs to be much faster, resulting in substantially shorter print times. Long and thin, they are immediately recognizable to anyone with even a passing knowledge of 3D printers, and the smooth, almost choreographed printing process is a visual treat.
If you are in the market for a delta 3D printer and need a gentle nudge in the right direction to help you wade through the glut of options out there, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up a selection of the best delta 3D printers currently available and when you have finished don#t forget to check out our best FDM printers and best 3D printers for beginners, all contained within our 3D printer hub.
To piece together our list of the best delta 3D printers, we pooled our own experience of 3D printing, our time with each printer, in-depth reviews from leading outlets, and user feedback to form a balanced assessment.
On a more granular level, we assessed each suitor based on several key factors: print speed, print quality, construction quality, resolution, internal components, filament support, assembly and calibration process, connectivity, and, of course, budget.
Doing so allowed us to thin down our choices to four delta 3D printers that, in our estimation, are excellent additions to any 3D printing setup. Below, you’ll find a quick review of each, highlighting the good and bad. For those that need a bit more guidance on what to look out for, we’ve also included a convenient ‘Things To Consider’ section at the end.
Best Delta 3D Printer in 2021
Affordable price point
Ships fully assembled
50 micron resolution
Wi-Fi, USB, and microSD connectivity
Small build volume
Erratic ABS performance
At $160 and stacked to the rafters with features usually reserved for printers twice the price, the Monoprice Delta Mini is nothing short of a steal. Monoprice is known for bringing low-cost but reliable printers to the market. Still, we struggle to understand how the company manages to make the Mini Delta profitable at this price point. In any case, this is all to the benefit of us, the printers.
It’s not perfect – no 3D print is. But for those wanting to toy with a delta printer for the first time without breaking the bank, it’s a top option and one that fully deserves the title of one of the best delta 3D printers out there.
As for features, $160 bags you a sturdy steel frame with an aesthetically pleasing anodized aluminum finish, continuous auto-calibration, a Bowden extruder with nozzle temperatures ranging from 180 to 260-degrees, 50-micron layer resolution, Wi-Fi/USB/microSD connectivity, an LCD screen, and a heated bed. It also ships fully assembled alongside a good selection of extras, including a plastic scraper, a microSD card preloaded with test prints, and a hex wrench.
While delta printers aren’t famed for their amply-sized build volumes, the Monoprice Mini Delta’s Ø110 mm x 120mm build volume falls on the small side even by these standards. Being a delta printer, the Mini Delta has plenty of verticality to play with, but things can get a little cramped on the circular heated print bed. If your printing plans involve modest builds, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Similarly, the Monoprice Mini Delta’s top print speed of 150 mm/sec is fast by FDM 3D printer standards, but among delta printers, it sits firmly in the middle of the pack. Again, this shouldn’t be such an issue given the significantly improved print speeds over traditional 3D printers, and we feel an average speed is entirely appropriate given the low asking price. That said, speed demons may want to look elsewhere, for example, the $3000 Delta Wasp 2040 Pro, which pushes print speeds to 500 mm /sec.
As a final note, official marketing material marks the Monoprice Mini Delta is compatible with PLA and ABS, two of the most popular filament types. In practice, we found that it performs admirably with PLA and even materials like PETG, but mileage varies with ABS. This is partly down to the demanding nature of printing with ABS, notably the need for a heated bed temperature of roughly 110-degrees. The Monoprice Mini Delta’s heated bed maxes out at 60-degrees. For us, it was hit and miss, with awful warping and adhesion issues in some instances and fairly decent prints in others. To err on the side of caution, we recommended viewing the Monoprice Mini Delta as a purely PLA printer.
Heated bed up to 110-degree
Ø200 mm x 200 mm build volume
Non open-source firmware
Searching for the best delta 3D printers, we were tempted to bump the FLSUN Q5 up to the top spot but couldn’t quite get over the competitive pricing of the Monoprice Mini Delta. The FLSUN Q5 is a better specced, more versatile machine, and the print quality is more reliable, but it does cost nearly double with an asking price of roughly $300. If you’ve cash to spare, then forego Mini Delta and go all-in on the FLSUN Q5.
The FLSUN Q5 features a 32-bit motherboard, USB/TF card connectivity, a full metal frame, a 27-point auto-calibration system that adjusts in real-time, a power failure resume function, and a full-color TFT touch screen. We particularly like the inclusion of a high-quality Titan extruder, generally reserved for the best FDM hobbyist-grade printers, and a decently sized Ø200 mm x 200 mm build volume with plenty of room for small to medium-sized projects.
The heated bed temperature caps out at 110-degrees, while the extruder temperature can reach 270-degrees. This makes the FLSUN Q5 perfectly suitable for PLA, ABS, HIPS, and TPU prints as advertised. Print quality is right where you’d expect at this price point, although more complex objects don’t come out as clean as we’d like; nevertheless, overall, we’d characterize the printing experience as good.
The FLSUN Q5 also scores points for having TMC2208 silent drivers, although the silent operation is diluted somewhat by a pretty loud fan on the print head and a loud A4988 chip driving the extruder. Although the printer comes part-assembled, the instructions and assembly process are straightforward enough for novices to complete with little to no issues.
Much like the Mini Delta, the FLSUN Q5’s print speeds aren’t a highlight and fall slightly below what you’d expect at this price point, but once again, obliterate those of FDM printers. The FLSUN Q5 can print at speeds ranging from 70 to 120 mm/s. It’s a reasonable trade-off to make for better printing performance.
Ø260 x 320 build volume
PLA, ABS, PETG, PVA, HIPS, wood fill, and flexibles compatible
100 micron layer resolution
Lattice coated print bed
Higher price than other options
Average print speeds
A more decked-out iteration of the FLSUN Q5, the FLSUN Mini makes its way onto our list as one of the most versatile delta 3D printers priced under $500. Much of that versatility rests on a relatively large build volume by delta printer standards – Ø260 x 320 – and supports a much broader range of materials than other delta printers.
The FLSUN Mini capably prints with everything from 3D printing stalwarts ABS and PLA to PETG, flexibles, and wood fill by way of support materials like PVA and HIPS thanks to a heated bed reaching up to 100-degrees and an extruder hot end temperature capping out at 260-degrees.
It also features a high-strength lattice coated print bed heavily inspired by Anycubic’s much-loved Ultrabase, which does wonders to offer firm adhesion for prints and stable temperatures alongside effortless removal of completed prints.
Other specifications include 100 to 400-micron layer resolution, automatic bed leveling, a 3.2-inch TFT color touch screen, power failure resume function, 20 to 150 mm/sec print speed, 32-bit mainboard, and very quiet operational noise levels maxing out at 50 dB.
Combined, all these features deliver good print quality regardless of the material. We were very impressed with the output during our time with the FLSUN Mini, especially considering the easy assembly and setup process. While nippy compared to FDM printers, the print speeds are middling for delta printers, but plenty fast enough to satisfy most transitioning over from traditional hobbyist 3D printers.
Priced at $380, the FLSUN Mini costs quite a bit more than our picks above, but the printer warrants the extra cost for its excellent feature set and printing performance.
50 micron layer resolution
250 mm x 445 mm build volume
Excellent PLA prints
Limited to PLA printing
No on-printer display
No heated bed
Although Print-Rite is a relative newcomer to the 3D printing scene, they’ve fostered a growing community of fans thanks to excellent, competitively priced machines. One such is the Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta D1315 Plus. Unlike other delta printers that attempt to cover a broad range of materials with varying degrees of success, the Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta D1315 Plus unashamedly targets PLA and PLA only. Such a focus means the printer is designed through and through to deliver excellent PLA prints.
The Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta D1315 Plus features a Ø130 mm x 150 mm build volume, a 50-micron layer resolution, auto-calibration, USB connectivity, and a sturdy lightweight frame. The build volume is neither the largest nor the smallest among our recommendations, hitting a balanced middle ground perfect for small to modestly-sized prints.
The Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta D1315 Plus arrives pre-assembled with minimal setup required to begin printing. The instruction guide is among the better quality ones we’ve come across at this price point, with simple well-guided steps complemented with full-color images. Print-Rite’s Repetier-based slicer works well enough with plenty of advanced settings to tinker with.
The focus on PLA does mean that the Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta D1315 Plus falters when it comes to other filaments, possibly a negative for those that favor versatility. Similarly, the absence of features like an on-printer touch screen controls and a heated bed may put off those accustomed to these quality of life improvements.
Things To Consider
Unlike Cartesian printers, it’s best to consider the build volume of delta 3D printers as base size. We know they all have height, so the critical metric is how much space there is on the circular base for longer and wider objects. There’s a correlation between price and base area, and consequently, expect to pay more for base areas that flirt with what you’d expect from more modest Cartesian printers.
It’s worth having a firm idea of what you plan to make with a delta printer beforehand, as opting for a small base size will invariably involve printing objects in parts, which can effectively cancel out the speed benefits a delta printer offers in the first place.
Resolution – measured in microns, resolution refers to the smallest layer height a delta 3D printer can print.
Material Type – most delta 3D printers support popular material types like ABS and PLA. Pricier options may dip their toes into filaments like PETG, HIPS, TPU, and others. Still, in general, the scope of compatible materials is more limited than Cartesian printers due to the limitations of using a Bowden extruder.
Connectivity – Wi-Fi, USB, SD card, USB key; connectivity determines how you’ll interact with the printer to initiate prints. We’d recommend Wi-Fi or USB cable for most as it allows you to pair the printer with a PC and slicing software rather than import STL or other format files.
Not For The Faint of Heart
Delta 3D printers can be highly versatile alternatives to Cartesian printers, if only for the very tall prints that Cartesian printers simply can handle in most cases. But, they play second fiddle to Cartesian printers in popularity and are a comparative niche form factor.
One of the main reasons for this is that printing can be more complicated because the build volume, while taller, is more often than not smaller on the two other axes. This can mean multiple printing sessions to create a single object due to the need to print parts separately to conform to the constricted build volume.
Similarly, delta printers employ far more parts that need both assembling and maintaining, heightening the chance of issues compared to often fully-assembly, easy-to-use Cartesian printers. Delta printers are best left to seasoned makers with the experience and knowledge for a more hands-on experience.
The smaller user base and overall appeal mean manufacturers have invested far fewer resources into improving delta printers to make them more user-friendly and easy to use and maintain. There simply isn’t the same demand or thriving community pushing the delta printer scene forward. As such, resources are sparse, and any issues will require a good dose of DIY elbow grease rather than an easy Google search for a well-guided fix.
What is a delta 3D printer?
Delta printers use a different system of movement from what you would probably normally think of when you think of a 3D printer that moves along traditional X, Y, and Z-axis rods.
Delta printers support the extruder with three spidery, tentacle-like arms attached in a triangle shape. Each arm can only move up and down vertically but by moving each arm independently the extruder is able to move hypnotically in all directions.
The printer bed of a delta printer is usually circular rather than square or rectangular and the print space resembles a cylinder.
When will MP Mini Delta 3D printer be for sale?
Stock of this great-priced mini delta printer remains low world-wide but stock does occasionally drop so we suggest keeping a close eye on Monoprice’s website and trying to pick it up there rather than on Amazon where people will have more wish-listed.
What does Delta mean for 3D printer
A delta printer consists of three arms on rails that move up and down independently to move the print head. Delta printers use trigonometric functions based on the angles that these arms create to determine the precise location of the print head within the 3D print space.
Our top recommendation among delta 3D printers is the Monoprice Mini Delta. Newcomers and weathered makers dipping into delta printing for the first time will find plenty to like here, not least a tempting $160 price tag and a slew of excellent features.
Our runner-up recommendation goes to the FLSUN Q5. It’s more expensive than the Monoprice option but is more versatile and stands as a great affordable printer for those with a little more cash to spare.
For pure versatility, including support for a wide range of materials and a good-sized build volume, the FLSUN Mini has the specifications and performance to deliver almost everything you’d ever need from a delta 3D printer.
Lastly, for its pure PLA performance alone, the Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta D1315 Plus is an excellent option for those that want a reasonably priced printer that excels where it matters.
With that, we’ll bring our product guide to the best delta 3D printers to an end. Feel free to drop any questions, comments, or even delta printer suggestions of your own in the comments section below.